Thursday, July 29, 2010

ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Website Programming by Berardi, Katawasi & Bellinaso

Building a non-trivial app MVC

Rating 8 out of 10

This book is not an MVC intro book. This book is building a non-trivial app MVC! In this book Nick Beradi and Al Katawazi is transferring Marco Bellinaso's classic The Beerhouse app to MVC. And they do an okay job. You need this book if you don't know how to build a non-trivial app MVC, at the time of writing there is no other books as extensive as this, building a non-trivial app MVC, around. It is true that some parts of this book has been copied and pasted from the previous edition in a non-intelligent fashion. It's mostly the parts laying out the design of the app. For example on page 260 you get informed about the SPROCs of the app, but this app doesn't use SPROCs, that was previous edition! Anyway as said this copy and paste thing goes on in the design parts and it actually doesn't mean too much in the understanding of the book. It didn't bother me very much. The important thing is about the MVC implementation and in that respect the app and the book has been totally rewritten from scratch, and you get the info you need. One thing I was a little puzzled about is why Nick and Al didn't use the ModelState for validation, it seems to me that that would have been easier, and you can thereby put the actual validation in the objects themselves. Instead Nick and Al writes a custom validation using jQuery. But all in all a fine book. You need this book if you are a newbie and you are heading the MVC way! But pick one of the MVC intro books up before you embark on this book!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

Steam driven extraterrestrials

Rating 5 out of 10

It's amazing to read this book from 1898 because in many respects it has scenes which seems to be taken from the countless Mars attackers movies that was made by Hollywood in the last half of the century. One almost thinks that H. G. Wells was able to tap into the collective experiences of the American film makers more than 50 years after he had written his book. In this book the metropolis is not New York, but good old London, but when the Martians attack London we see the same traffic jammed roads, when people tries to excape the monsters. One thing which puzzled me a bit reading the book was that Wells always describes the workings of the Martians machines as exhausting steam and smoke. But then I thought about it, and it's obvious. Wells was living in an age where every mechanical action was steam driven so it was impossible for him to imagine mechanical action without steam and smoke.

Excuse Me, Miss by Phillip Thomas Duck

The Infidelity Test

Rating 4 out of 10

I was quickly caught reading this account by Phillip Thomas Duck. The story is about a privat eye working in the field of checking unfaithful husbands. To do this they perform the infidelity test, where an attractive woman makes a pass on the unsuspecting husband and if he bites on this tempting hook he does not pass the test. I think the title that Phillip Thomas Duck has chosen for this novella: "Excuse Me, Miss" is not the right one. It would be better to call the novella "The Infidelity Test". Phillip Thomas Duck is a writer for women, is that guy a bit of a womanizer? Atleast he seems to be able to penetrate, and write from within female psychology. The story walks on the borderline of becoming a cliché, but I think it's all-right. Phillip Thomas Duck's lines are wellturned and natural, but his characters seems to me to be a bit lacking, very thin drawn and allmost non-existant. I should think this story could be popular with teenage girls in the lower social stratas of society. I mean teenage girls in a troubled neighborhood, they don't wanna read, give them this, and they'll read. The subject of infidelity is a subject of keen interest to all women of all time. Maybe a film also could be made? It's a great idea with an infidelity private eye. Is all art born out of some conflict of some sort? Does Phillip Thomas Duck's wife need to worry? Well yes, because obviously this account is born out of the dilemma between the one true love with the one and only girl, and then all the other nice girls walking around. This story is much about infidelity but it actually ends on the keynote of true love!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Udsatte egne - det er mig by Per Højholt

Fan of Marcel Duchamp

Rating 4 out of 10

This is Per Højholt being interviewed by Lars Johansson. Per Højholt is not boring, especially it's interesting when he talks about his respect and interest in Marcel Duchamp.

Silence in October by Jens Christian Grondahl

Plot driven humour

Rating 5 out of 10

This was my second book by Jens Christian Grondahl. I most enjoyed the part where the married man falls for the temptation of a young woman in New York, and becomes unfaithful in his otherwise happy marriage. That part showed to me that Grondahl can be fun. Basically I have detected two kinds of humour in litterature. First there is the obvious humour, the slapstick kind of humour, which is upfront and everybody can grasp it and laugh. Then there is another kind of humour, which is more subtle. The humour here is withdrawn and deep and placed in the plot. So that the humour appears in how the different events are chained together. This kind of humour not everybody detects, it's of a more sophisiticated kind than the slapstick humour. As a reader it gives me an inner smile when I read this kind of humour. Karen Blixen often uses this deep, plot driven, humour in her stories in "Winter's Tales".

Lucca by Jens Christian Grøndahl

The Relationship!

Rating 5 out of 10

Jens Christian Grøndahl is an OK writer. He is foremost a writer about the relationship. One should think he have an immense need for love and security in a relationship? The character I enjoyed most in this novel was an aged theater director called The Gypsy King or Harry Wiener. One most think that the model for Grøndahls characters is his father and mother and himself. He grew up in some creative environment?

The naked trees by Tage Skou-Hansen

Unheroic resistance people during WW2

Rating 6 out of 10

This book is about young Danish people in the resistance towards German occupation of Denmark during WW2. This group of people seem quite desperate, amateurish and confused. They blow up some railroads and things and kill some Germans and some of themselves also get killed by the Germans. The don't att all give any heroic impression! The main thread of the story is an unhappy love story. An OK read.

Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A one in 100 millions

Rating 6 out of 10

Ayaan is an extreme exception human. She is not only a one in a million, she is a one in a 100 millions. Ayaan is a curious person, she will keep turning stones. She has outgrown her parents Islamic culture, she also quickly outgrowed the stupid and hypocritical European left wing culture she was nurtured by in the Netherlands. Although she recognizes the western culture framework as the most fascilitating for humans she will proberly also move beyond that. Ayaan is an enormous talent for writing, personally I would say that she should commit herself to becoming a writer, of fiction also. Ayaan is carrying something inside her which is larger than life. This book is not Ayaans best. "Infedel" is her best book so far. Ayaan is maybe, or could become, one of the greatest writers of the century. She could become one of the greatest female writers of all time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Haiti - Kuppet - Faldet - Katastrofen by Jørgen Leth

Third release of the same material under a different title to make a profit on Haitian earthquake

Rating 5 out of 10

This is the publishing house Information's attempt to make a profit on the large earthquake on Haiti in early 2010. But the cover of the book is very misdirecting, because there is virtually no material about the earthquake! Around 2/3 of the material has been published before by the same publishing house under different titles. So this release of the material is the not only the 2. time, but the 3. time release of the same material under 3 different titles! Reading the first part of Jørgen's writings one senses behind "The Comedians" by Graham Greene.

Et sted ved Kysten by Leif Ahm

Bad book

Rating 1 out of 10

This is a bad book, it's written in Danish litteratures "modernistic" period in the 60's and 70's. This book is a kind of stream of consciousness, it's very repetitive in its nature, with fragments from commercials, the EU election in Denmark 1972, etc. It's a total vaste of time!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Boss of It All by Lars von Trier

Movie for the eggheads

Movie Review

Rating 3 out of 10

I think von Trier is proud of this film stylistically. But when it comes to fun, I do not find this movie very funny. It seems to be a movie for the movie wise heads. But as a normal spectator I do not find it that very entertaining. Anyway there is here and there a joke which made me laugh in the movie. It seems like Trier likes to dig beyond the surface of modern man. In this film the scene is corporate Denmark. One must hope that one day Trier will grow up and leave all that art crap, overcome his fear of air travel, and go to Hollywood!

The Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven

Less than Ringworld

Rating 4 out of 10

Larry Niven is not a good writer, but he has a quite potent fantasy, so he is an all-right read. This book is a sequel to "Ringworld", seen in that light "The Ringworld Engineers" doesn't offer anything new. Larry Niven is a cult writer, reading his books you get this sense that you are sitting beside him at his desk, journeying with him in his brain. He rests in himself, he even invented several new words to populate his universe.

Monday, July 5, 2010

jQuery for ASP.NET Developers by Joe Brinkman

Not quite good

Rating 4 out of 10

I have learned some of the basics of jQuery reading this document. But I am not quite satisfied with the author, I think he is not using enough words to explain some of the more complex scenarios, like animation, and extending jQuery. He actually don't explain these things at all. I think he should have walked through some of the more complex code, in that way I would proberly have learned more. As for now I didn't get the point about those issues. You can see the sample app that the document is based on at Also the author forgot to tell about some of the basic jQuery idiom, for example what does "fn" mean? What does "n" mean inside a function? And what does it mean when there is written (jQuery) at the end of a function? It's also a bit stupid that the sample app is written in VB when C# is the most videly understood. Well, about the last thing, that doesn't matter so much because the internal working of the app is not so important in understanding the jQuery issues.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Comedians by Graham Greene

Best book on Haiti ever!

Rating 9 out of 10

This is a very good book. The book has numerous qualities. Greenes characters are impressive. Not only are they very well drawn, they also all retain all of them a secret of their own, so one gets an accute sense that you don't really know them, just like the people that surrounds you in your life. If this is not Greenes best book - My God!  - Then he must be an absolutely brilliant writer! We don't get too much to know about the "I" of this novel, but as the novel progresses you get the sense of this presence, this void, this vacuum, which is lurking behind the "I". At some point one of his friends interogates him
- So what do you want Brown? He says he wants to run the hotel and make some money, but the friend continues:
- Yeah but what do you really want? We don't get an answer, but there is something fishy about Brown.
At some point in the novel it also turn all metafiction like, Browns girlfriend is complaining that the people surrounding Brown don't really exist for him, they just play a part in his scheme, in his creative fantasy.